OILERS WIN....

Jason Gregor
January 21 2013 12:09AM

 

It wasn't the prettiest win, but the young Oilers deserve a lot of credit for battling back from a 2-0 deficit to win their season opener 3-2 in a shoot out.

The Oilers looked like a team playing their first game of the season. They shot wide on many of the best scoring chances, and I'd attribute that to a bit of rust. They took too many penalties, but their penalty killers were solid. Overall there were way more positives than negatives.

QUICK HITS

  • It is only one game, but right now there are more questions surrounding Cory Schneider than Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk might want the Edler bomb of a shot back, but being partially screened I didn't think it was an awful goal. After that he was very solid and didn't give many second chances by kicking out juicy rebounds. Canucks fans will be livid after the weekend and they might have a full-scale goaltender controversy on their hands already. Something tells me Oiler fans love this.
     
  • Ales Hemsky had an excellent game. He used his speed to back off defenders and created numerous scoring chances. With the top line likely to face the opposing #1 defence pairing most games, Hemsky/Gagner/Yakupov could have a big year. Hemsky is healthy for the first time in three years and if he stays healthy he could pot 35-39 points.
     
  • If the Oilers keep taking that many penalties Krueger will have to find another duo of forwards who can kill penalties. Horcoff/Smyth and Belanger/Petrell were very good, but he'll need more than just four forwards. He did mention he plans on letting the young guys get some PK time as the season progresses.
     
  • If you look at the overall icetime of his bench, I think Krueger did exactly what he wanted, excluding Teemu Hartikainen who only played 6:10. He wasn't on the PK or PP so it was hard for him to mix him in. Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins all played over 21 minutes. 15 of the 18 skaters had at least 21 shifts.
     
  • Jeff Petry was very good. He continued very he left off last season, and he's shown a willingness and ability to deliver some solid body checks.
     
  • Eric Belanger got ripped endlessly last season, so it's only fair to point out how solid he played tonight. He was good on draws, 56%; very good on the PK and the 4th line was effective five-on-five.
     
  • Nick Schultz blocked nine shots and played his usual mistake-free game. I know many didn't like the Gilbert/Schultz trade, but Schultz is a better pure defender and that's why they made the deal. You can debate forever who is a better player straight up, but on this team he fills the defensive D-man role better than Gilbert.
     
  • Just for fun, Jordan Eberle's shooting percentage is 20%. And he did that on five shots, which is well above his average of the past two years.
     
  • The Oilers were 56% in faceoffs. RNH and Gagner were both 50% (7 wins, 7 losses), while Horcoff won 10 of 16 and Belanger won 9 of 16.
     
  • I thought RNH was a bit off tonight. He missed a few passes that he usually makes in his sleep. He got better as the game went on, and I think the Oilers overall passing will be much crisper on Tuesday.
     
  • After the Sedins the Canucks don't have many forwards who scare you. They could struggle to score goals this season.
     
  • I liked Krueger's strategy late in the game. In the final few minutes he used Petrell in Yakupov's spot. Some might say he was coaching not to lose, but I don't blame him for wanting to get a point. He clearly coached to win by starting OT with Eberle/RNH, then going with Yakupov/Hall and back to RNH/Eberle before going to Hemsky/Gagner. I don't call that coaching not to lose. Yakupov is a rookie and Krueger wants to put him in positions to succeed. As Yakupov gets more comfortable I'm sure you will see Krueger give him more responsibility, but there is no point in doing it in the first game of the season.
     
  • That was a big win for the Oilers, and overall I thought they played pretty well. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 moiza67
January 21 2013, 12:17AM
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The first fail of the new hockey season... Add more than a four letter word... Edited by Gregor.

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#2 Rocket
January 21 2013, 12:23AM
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Hemsky was a beast out there. Talk about not going gently into that good night.

Good to see an actual top 6.

Dubnyk looked pretty good. So did Luongo.

Also, Eberle is the king of Jordan.

More hockey please.

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#3 Westcoastoil
January 21 2013, 12:33AM
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I was at the game tonight: Yak looked good in flashes, but you can tell it'll take a few games for him to feel his way in, the second line look good and Gagner had a very solid game. RNH taking own zones draws against the Sedins - like the call by Krueger. Eager taking Kassian out for 5 was a key play & 55 had a decent game. Only real -ve was Potter and Whitney looked like the weak link

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#4 Talbot17
January 21 2013, 12:34AM
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Loved the game, the calls, the coaching. Putting Hemsky in the shoot out shows Kreuger's mark on this team, he had a good game and he left his mark, confidence for him in a situation where we all questioned what would happen to him. Very good game, i think the oilers beginning the season 3-0 is going to happen #called it

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#5 Muji
January 21 2013, 12:37AM
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First, watching that was A LOT of fun! I was actually nervous. The CBA meetings did not elicit these types of feelings.

Second, I thought we played very well. There was definitely some rustiness/nerves - noticeably from RNH, Hall, Gagner, and Yakupov - but I really liked the "battle" the team showed. They were behind most of the game, but did not show much panic; I think Dubnyk deserves a lot of credit for that.

Random thoughts:
- Nice to see Hemsky with a "Don't forget about me!" performance on the 1st night. It's crazy how Oilers fans forget that he was the only draw on those terrible 2007-2010 teams.
- I want to see Fistric in Potter's place. Unfortunately for Potter, he's a bit mediocre 5 on 5, doesn't kill penalties, and is good on the PP (but behind Whitney and J.Schultz on the PP depth chart).
- Petry and Smid looked solid
- Schultz x2 looked solid
- Dubnyk looked solid

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#6 Toro
January 21 2013, 12:44AM
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A lot of the guys who got flak last year ie. Horcoff Belanger Eager I think played really well , seems like Eager played how the Oilers expected him to play last year, I think that concussion in training camp last year screwed up his whole season.

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#7 konst16
January 21 2013, 01:02AM
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@Muji

I'm by no means a potter cheering section, but i thought he was solid on the PK. Yes PK!

Found the warmup interesting, the OKC kids had some blueline saucer pass magic going on, while Yak looked like he wanted no part of it. Yak > warmup.

The players that just "looked good" (with thick beer glasses applied, and excluding the obvious *cougheberle*cough*), I have to point to jschultz and duby. Both just oozed confidence throughout (despite mistakes).

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#8 Crispy
January 21 2013, 01:11AM
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Eberle's goal was sicker than H1N1.

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#9 Jamie B.
January 21 2013, 01:13AM
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Considering Nuge basically played 4 games in the last month, it makes sense that he wasn't quite "on" tonight. The kids should get back into the swing of things quickly. I hope.

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#10 dougtheslug
January 21 2013, 01:30AM
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Hey Jason, do whatever you have to do to change that April 7 score - I have been staring at it for almost 10 months and I want it updated. Pronto!

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#11 Will
January 21 2013, 01:32AM
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One of the big questions for me this year was, can Petry continue to develop after an already stellar year? After tonight, I have no doubt in my mind Petry is going to be a great defenseman.

I was also happy to see how well our third and fourth lines played. I really liked the Eager fight because right now Vancouver doesn't have a second line, and taking the current rent a players off it for five minutes is a great way to make the first and third lines skate their bag off.

Also, the Dubnyk we got tonight is the one I can only hope for every night. Guy was just calm and solid.

By no means the greatest Oiler game, but coming back against the Canucks for a win is something I don't think this team could have done last year.

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#12 Reg Dunlop
January 21 2013, 01:48AM
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Unlike last year's first game victory, the oil out-played the opposition last night. They were physically superior for much of the game. If the canucks don't find some secondary offence soon, they may find themselves in too deep a hole to dig out of in the short season. Wouldn't that be a shame?

Schultz jr. impressed with the puck, made good decisions and generally looked like a young Zubov.

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#13 Sanaa Montana
January 21 2013, 01:58AM
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Dubs was good. One could put some blame on him for the first goal, but Gagner owns him one for the second goal.

Yakupov will need a couple of games to get comfortable. I have a feeling Hemmer and Nail will be one of the most dangerous second lines this short season.

Krueger should put Eager on the third with Horcoff and Smyth, and Harti with Belanger and Petrell. Horcoff and Smyth could be lined up against other teams better lines and in that Eager would have higher calibre players to hit.

I didn't understand why one of Hall's shifts in the OT was wasted by putting Smyth out with him.?

Smid and Petry were solid. Potter needs to sit.

P.S. If Hemmer ain't worth 2 at 5-how the #@$% is Joffrey worth 5 at 5.25?

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#14 WhattaMike
January 21 2013, 04:53AM
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Wow it's great to see a real NHL game after all this time. I have to admit being angry prior to but once game day came I was back on board....(shame on me lol).

Anyways, I was very happy with the resilience of the boys tonight. They kept pluggin away and the results ended up being awesome.

Dubnyk played a very good game and the first goal against him was not all his fault either. Being screened (by Potter) will happen during the year. Younster Schultz had a very good debut. PK was superb and both Hemsky and Eberle were top notch (honorable mention to Horcoff, Gagner and Petry) Loved that hit by Petry on Weiss...perfect. The team played a very good game but can be better as there was some rust and maybe some nerves from some...Yakupov. I did enoy the gtame very much but will end this by saying I hope to see more hits next game, especially with by having Fistric play instead of Potter. Oh yeah, Congrats to Ralph Krueger on first head coach win in NHL!!!!! GO OILERS!!!!!

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#15 Eastern Oil
January 21 2013, 07:07AM
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Great to watch some hockey again and am happy to have Centre Ice being in Ontario (although it was a Canucks feed).

Just some thoughts:

- I thought Gagner had a great game showing some speed and some willingness to take the man. Don't need to drive the guy thru the wall, just remove him from the play.

- Nice to have a dangerous secondary scoring line for the first time in awhile. A little rusty but that 2nd line showed glimpses of good chemistry.

- 4th line had some effective shifts and I liked Eager and Belanger's efforts.

- Finally, I didn't mind Potter's game but if he is going to be the 4th or 5th puck moving Dman, Fistric is the better option.

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#16 vetinari
January 21 2013, 07:14AM
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Hemmer, Gagner and Eager looked motivated last night and I like how Krueger went with who he thought was "in the zone" for the shoot out. My gut reaction for the three in shoot out would have been Eberle, Yakupov and Hemsky but it worked out fine. Definitely played like a more cohesive unit except for the second goal but arrows are going the right way.

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#17 John Chambers
January 21 2013, 07:21AM
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In OT Kruger had Horcoff taking a defensive-zone draw with Taylor Hall on his wing, and when they successfully cleared the zone Yakupov was substituted for Horcoff.

Great coaching by Kruger to gain possession and then put his weapons out there 4 x 4.

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#18 Eulers
January 21 2013, 07:27AM
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@Eastern Oil

By the way, there was a button at the bottom to switch between the Vancouver and Edmonton feeds.

Anyways, what impressed me most is that, to a man, the oilers played to their potential. This combined with their elevated potential made the experience of watching the team, dare I say it, ENJOYABLE after years in the wilderness!

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#19 RyanCoke
January 21 2013, 07:29AM
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Both sides seemed really rusty except for eberle, he looked dangerous all game. Dubnyk actually probably stole that game for the oil. Vancouver had a lot of grade A chances and Dubnyk made the stops when it counted.

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#20 Bucknuck
January 21 2013, 07:46AM
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Potter was on the ice for both goals, and Hemsky scored the game tying and shootout clinching goals.

My Goat / Star picks are looking about right so far. Frigging Potter.

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#21 pelhem grenville
January 21 2013, 07:52AM
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O M G...Jason

"...It wasn't the prettiest win, but..."

After April 7th 2011 we at OilersNation have witnessed, discussed, argued, been trolled magnificently,thrown mudballs at each other, collaborated, whined, pi$$ed on each other, said goodbye, begged for forgiveness...some of us have gotten drunk, been stoned, fired and hired, laid off and moved, allowed to weigh in and shown the way out...anguish and anger have taken over at times with billionaires and millionaires all dropped from Christmas card lists everywhere and you want PRETTY?

...this first game of a stupid a$$ short season was the start of what most of us have dreamed of for a long long time ... it was against the Canucks who's a team fans of every other team in the civilized world loves to hate...and you want PRETTY?

Oh the humanity Jason...! it's a WIN...It's a Dubya...plus points...we're ahead of that club now for a while...we're undefeated in January as someone has noted...your take on this momentous victory last night compared to the yet uninstalled posting of last Aprils' defeat to the same club is almost as dumbfounding as...OK I won't go there but again Jason...

you want PRETTY?

...I thought THE worst part of this game was watching our latest first overall pick play 16 plus minutes go MINUS TWO and only get one shot on goal ...that my trusted mainstream media correspondant, blogger extrordinaire and esteemed Edmonton personality who does more for charity than most wasn't the prettiest...but

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#22 Larry
January 21 2013, 08:01AM
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Ben Eager prolly would have done better if he had a bar stool

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#23 Oilfred
January 21 2013, 08:06AM
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Petry's progression has been a god send. His play in the last 20 games of last season and in last nights game has really become complete.

Finally a top pairing that can do it all with Smid developing a little offense.

I was hoping Whitney could return to form however it doesn't seem to be the case. I think he can still be an effect player as PP specialist and 5-6 guy.

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#24 Reality Check to the head
January 21 2013, 08:17AM
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Hemsky looks healthy, hopefully the 14 goals and 18 assists in 27 games (Czech League) can translate into great success in the NHL (point a game). Hemsky's dangle in the shoot out was incredible.

Ebs backhand was insane, I particularly loved the look on Loungo's face afterwards.

Nice to talk about the highlights of last nights contest and not about Bettman and Fehr.

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#25 Clyde Frog
January 21 2013, 08:29AM
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Picture the scene:

DSF sitting in his mother's basement sputtering Cheetos and Dr. Pepper all over his keyboard...

His left eye twitches, a soft moan of "But, but, but... the depth" escapes his lips. His world is slowly slipping away from him, the walls are closing in, this surely has to be the end! Doesn't it?

He grasps madly at the pile of paper heaped all over his desk; each paper covered in a mad scribble of thoughts, statistics and advanced calculations... His life's work! All the effort he has expended in becoming the single greatest hockey analyst known to man.

Quickly he finds a prediction written several weeks ago, he holds it up to light, his eyes grow wide! This is obviously the gem his life has led to the crafting of; all the others were mere musings, surely no-one would hold him to those. They would understand that he was just posting idle thoughts, they would see this was the one true thought!

Chuckling madly he shoves everything else off his desk, sits back and relaxes. Everything will soon be right with the world, all he has to do is remind the internet that this was his real truth!

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#26 Mike Modano's Dog
January 21 2013, 08:31AM
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As much as I dogged Belanger last year he really impressed last night. That was the type of play I expected from him when he signed. Way to go and keep it up, Eric!

To me, Eberle is near the very best in the NHL and he keeps proving it; that goal last night was SO clutch!

Hemsky looked great and he I think is going to enjoy NOT being the marque guy now, with the Oilers having too many awesome forwards to cover him exclusively, he showed what he can do. Might help him to stay healthy longer...

Gagner has been looking great since training camp. He continues to look like a man possessed, poised to raise his career to much greater heights.

Loved Dubnyk's calm, collected play last night.

Loved watching Calgary's game against the Sharks last night, too - what a great hockey night! ;)

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#27 Rob...
January 21 2013, 08:39AM
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Great game. I don't even mind the calls the Oilers took. It does tick me off when calls going the other way seem to require a more blatant of an offense though. The Canucks always seem to get away with interference that the Oilers get called for.

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#28 David S
January 21 2013, 08:43AM
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moiza67 wrote:

The first fail of the new hockey season... Add more than a four letter word... Edited by Gregor.

UNSUSTAINABLE F!ST!

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#29 Marcus
January 21 2013, 08:50AM
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Great win, previous posts have covered the most valid points.

I will say that the rust was very obvious at the beginning but almost gone by the end. I don't think Ebs was overly impressive until he turned the building onto it's head with that roofy. Then he was on fire.

RNH - never got going, but will. Yak, J. Schultz - good starts boys.

All 4 lines ultimately effective. As Jason pointed out, further proof of the rust were the wide shots on goal. If a couple of those are corners and not backboards, game over much earlier. HALLSY's cross-crease feed from Ebs on earlier PP would have changed the dynamic of the game had he buried it.

And lastly, if you include the shootout goals, we scored on LOOO on glove side, from the right, from the left, the five hole.....basically everywhere.....how's that for messing with his head? Have fun with that Vigneault.

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#30 Marcus
January 21 2013, 08:54AM
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@Rob...

Not to mention the high stick to the face Petry took about 10 mins left that the ref watched awkwardly from about 15 ft away before letting play carry on. That was BS.

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#31 blue31
January 21 2013, 09:02AM
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The NHL players and owners can all go straight to hell. And I'm not spending a single dime on merchandise. And I'm not wasting one more minute of my life watching these overpaid bums. And I'm not supporting any of the advertisers.

And . . .

and . . .

and . . .

What time is the game tomorrow?

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#32 OilersBrass
January 21 2013, 09:04AM
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Where's all the Hemsky haters today?

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#33 Chaz
January 21 2013, 09:07AM
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Fun game to watch. Thought the boys played well, though as mentioned there was some rust.

Here's to Ebs giving Horcoff some free shooting lessons. He had a couple of Grade A opportunities in close, but just put the puck right off Lou's crest. I'm not a Horcoff-basher, I actually like his game, but man he has rocks for hands when he's in close. Get some pointers from the young guys Shawn quick!!

My brother was at the game, and said there were a couple of "Let's go Oilers" chants. That warmed my heart on a cold January night!

GOilers!!

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#34 Racki
January 21 2013, 09:09AM
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Nick Schultz.. love him. I loved that we traded Gilbert for him, even though Gilbert was finally starting to show the improvements in areas that I always disliked about his game. I'll take Nick Schultz SOLID defensive game over Gilbert's transition game any day though.

Good to see some props for this guy.

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#35 Phixieus666
January 21 2013, 09:16AM
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John Chambers wrote:

In OT Kruger had Horcoff taking a defensive-zone draw with Taylor Hall on his wing, and when they successfully cleared the zone Yakupov was substituted for Horcoff.

Great coaching by Kruger to gain possession and then put his weapons out there 4 x 4.

All right lots of stuff to cover. First off you are perfecty right JC. Saying that Kruger wasted a shift in OT by having Hall and Smyth on a line is complete BS. In order to score you need puck possession and Smyth and Horcoff do that very nicely.

First goal - I think this is mostly Potters fault, if your going to screen your goaltender you need to take that player out before he has a chance to fire the puck. Potter was by far the worst player on the ice from my perspective. He should not be paired with Whitney. Whitney is not a defensive specialist, he is more of an offensive guy and is best at playing the puck up the ice. If he is playing his game he can't cover all the mistakes that Potter makes and this my friends is where Fistric should shine.

Second Goal - To many's surprise this was not a Potter or Gagner mistake. This one was all on Whitney. Yakupov was clearly in pursuit of the puck carrier and yet Whitney for some reason was following the Yak when he should have returned to the front of the net to maintian position.

Gagner didn't have a great game but wasn't bad either. Hemsky I think is going to have a good season, finally has some good players around him, he's healthy, and the entire weight of the team isn't on his shoulders. Dubnyk was great. Schultz was very impressive, he looked like a Vet out there. His timing and when to jump into plays was amazing and that kid can skate. The Yak had a good game, the team really started to settle in after the first period, but Yak was relentless going after the puck carrier. He is going to be a nightmare for a lot of players I'm telling ya.

Also PP defenseman depth. Sorry but Potter isn't even third on my list. J. Schults, Whitney, Petry, Potter. That's the way I see it.

I'll just touch on one last thing. Kruger clearly has a specific game plan and doesn't hesitate to execute it. To say the least I was surprised by the shootout selections. But what became clear is that through the Goalie reviews provided to the coach he has these guys picked out before the games even start and already knows what moves he wants them to try. I think this guy would have made an amazing military strategist.

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#36 Scott
January 21 2013, 09:16AM
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Even this was a good start and a great road win, there still is a question of how good our defensive core is. Vancouver is a very soft team with no second line. Our defense had the luxary last night of playing a Vancouver team with two third lines. Not a very big defensive test. Also, with exception of Kassian and few other Vancouver forwards, Vancouver really has no fowards that will punish you physically. Seeing the Oilers play a bigger team like San Jose for example will really show how good our defense is.

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#37 2004Z06
January 21 2013, 09:36AM
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What the hell happened to Petry in the off season? He looks like he bulked up a little bit and was a hitting machine last night. I don't think I have ever seen him play so physical. LOVED IT!. Was the first game and everyone but Hemsky, Gagner and Eberle looked a bit rusty. I did think that Belanger, Eager looked pretty decent too. If this is where we are starting this year....I am pumped about the potential.

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#38 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 21 2013, 09:36AM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Picture the scene:

DSF sitting in his mother's basement sputtering Cheetos and Dr. Pepper all over his keyboard...

His left eye twitches, a soft moan of "But, but, but... the depth" escapes his lips. His world is slowly slipping away from him, the walls are closing in, this surely has to be the end! Doesn't it?

He grasps madly at the pile of paper heaped all over his desk; each paper covered in a mad scribble of thoughts, statistics and advanced calculations... His life's work! All the effort he has expended in becoming the single greatest hockey analyst known to man.

Quickly he finds a prediction written several weeks ago, he holds it up to light, his eyes grow wide! This is obviously the gem his life has led to the crafting of; all the others were mere musings, surely no-one would hold him to those. They would understand that he was just posting idle thoughts, they would see this was the one true thought!

Chuckling madly he shoves everything else off his desk, sits back and relaxes. Everything will soon be right with the world, all he has to do is remind the internet that this was his real truth!

*slow clap*

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#39 Rama Lama
January 21 2013, 09:37AM
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Great to see guys like Hemsky and Eager step up their game and play a team game.

I think that for too many years Hemsky was paired with rock hands Horcoff and the results showed. With a centerman that can actually make a play, Hemsky may just have a decent year.

Yakapov will be fine after about five games.......the kid looked and played nervous all game long. When he decides to calm down and pick his spots better, look out!

Justin Shultz looked fine, but I suspect he will need to gain at least 10 to 20 lbs before he can work his own end properly and with some authority. At some time he will not be able to elude or spin off a big check........I hope that he does not get squashed. Jeff Petry will be our dominant defenseman for year to come.

Good to finally watch a game.

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#40 Back Seat Driver
January 21 2013, 09:39AM
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I definitely agree that "coaching not to lose" is big change from Rennie last year.

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#41 Neal
January 21 2013, 09:40AM
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Most thoughts repeated ad nauseum above. It's a little early to celebrate BUT it was great to watch. I didn't get why Fistric sat and Potter played... Anyone hear????

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#42 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 21 2013, 09:43AM
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Great game!

not in terms of execution, but in terms of finally getting to watch the Oil, and getting to watch them win and fight back.

Hemsky was amazing.

That line got exposed badly by the Kassian goal by staring at the puck. Looked to me like the blame lies primarily with 89 and 6 who let Kassian wander into the slot without taking note.

Yak and Hemsky both played the goal right. Yak pressured the puck, it was his man, Hemsky backed off into the neutral zone to not crowd the puck and be ready to break out of the zone.

On the first goal, Hemsky was already off the ice. Not sure why he got a minus. 44 seems to have screened the shot, but didn't play it terribly. Looks like that one was mostly on Dubs.

@JG

Completely agree on lack of crispness on the shots: 10, 19 and 93 all had beauty chances that could have been improved by better shot selection.

Also... I think people are getting ahead of themselves on the nucks. They are still way better than most teams in the league and when Kessler and Booth come back, they will be even better. Still, I'm sure they'd love to get something out of Raymond and Burrows.

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#43 Chris.
January 21 2013, 09:46AM
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I can't believe I have to wait till tuesday to watch another game...

*pulls out knitting needles*

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#44 OilClog
January 21 2013, 09:49AM
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Hemsky still looks like our best forward, and may still see the stiffer competition if he keeps it up. Opposition coaches worst nightmare, two rolling scoring lines.

Eager.. Welcome back

Belanger.. Please continue to enhance your trade value

The PP1 unit needs to calm down and position themselves better. Hall should be down off the left post.. Always. And Horcoff is useful but let the burnout begin? I'd force RNH to take those faceoffs, they need to win these battles themselves. Teemu would be far better infront as if he gets hurt.. We won't lose much. Horcoff gets hurt, we get Belanger covering his duties.. Yikes.

Dubs is solid, playing to his strengths.. Huge. Reminds me alil of Ranford with a few of his poises, but he'll never have that glove hand like Billy's.

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#45 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 21 2013, 09:50AM
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Neal wrote:

Most thoughts repeated ad nauseum above. It's a little early to celebrate BUT it was great to watch. I didn't get why Fistric sat and Potter played... Anyone hear????

There's a lot of speculation... but a couple of reasonable stabs might be:

1) Potter was playing in Europe and Fistric hasn't been playing anywhere... as we've seen a lot of the players (look at VANs last 2 games) who haven't been playing are a little rusty.

maybe K trusted the game-ready player?

2) K is planning on platooning Potter and Fistric and will swap them depending on the game situation.

VAN is a lot of things, but they aren't a "tough" team. They are irritating and cheap, but not tough. Hence no Fistric and no Hordi.

maybe K was playing to the game situation?

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#46 bdiddy18
January 21 2013, 10:05AM
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Very optimistic after this first game, Coach K used the young guns more this year than Renney did for two years.

Yak and Hall in OT ! what whoa creativity - no way!

Guessing Hartikanen lost minutes when the 4th line was removed for the final five minutes due to Eager's fight with Kassian, bumping Belanger up to the third line - otherwise he gets more minutes.

I just hope in the transition into this short season that Ryan Smyth is removed from the PK and Eberle (or Hall) is inserted.

Smyth does just fine as a third line and occasional PK PP. We need at least one of the young guns to start killing penalties. Teams that win Cups have their stars killing penalties especially when you are losing..need that threat of the shorty

The present tandems of Belanger/Petrell and Horcoff/Smyth are fine if you are winning or tied but if you are losing Oilers going to need more snipers on the pk.

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#47 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 21 2013, 10:12AM
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@bdiddy18

On Harti... I agree about the 3rd.. he was pulled for more senior players...

but I think he lost most of his minutes because the Oilers couldn't stay out of the box... Harti isn't on special teams... yet.

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#48 Phixieus666
January 21 2013, 10:19AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

On Harti... I agree about the 3rd.. he was pulled for more senior players...

but I think he lost most of his minutes because the Oilers couldn't stay out of the box... Harti isn't on special teams... yet.

I also think that Harti will be used less in games with teams that are more skilled. When playing with bigger more physical teams I think he will end up on the PP and shifts in the top 6. This also allows Kruger to conserve him a bit for such a tight season.

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#49 Oilers21
January 21 2013, 10:30AM
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I know I'm late to the party but I thought that was a great win. Incredibly small sample but it looks like a totally different team than last year. We didn't fold faster than Superman on laundry day when going down a couple of goals. Everyone forechecked and actually fought for the puck. The kids looked dangerous all night. The third line played great. Plus we beat Vancouver which since I live in Victoria is the greatest of all accomplishments.

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#50 TKB2677
January 21 2013, 10:52AM
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Great game by the Oilers. It was only the first game so I'm not ready to put my chair down along the parade route but coming back from being 2-0 down in a hostile environment was usually a given the game was over. So the fact that they were able to came back makes it all that much better.

One thing I want to see is Cory Potter in the press box. I really don't care if the Canucks weren't an overly physical line up. They traded for Fistric because they lack defencemen like him. The big, strong, physical Dman that can clear the front of the net, play tough and most importantly, get some of the opposition players looking around a bit wondering where he is on the ice. Potter does NOTHING of what I described. They have 3 puck moving Dmen already - 1 per pair. Schultz, Petry, Whitney. They can do without Potter and his average puck moving skills. He isn't the greatest defender. He isn't physical at all, he isn't a great penalty killer. He isn't EVER going to be ahead of Schultz or Whitney on the PP units. So what exactly is his purpose?

When Kassian layed a clean, decent hit on Hall. Yes, it was great that Eager went after him. That's his job and I am very glad to see him do that. BUT, what Eager did was expected and it doesn't really do anything. A bigger, much better response would of been having a guy like Fistric - who is known for being able to do this very well- lay a hard hit on one of the Canucks better players. That carries a lot more weight than Eager doing the expected, obvious response.

It's only 1 game so I'm not going to freak out yet. I am hoping they kept him out for what Kruger mentioned was because he has only been there a short period of time. I am expecting Fistric will be in the line up on Tuesday playing a bigger team like the Sharks. Plus he is an Edmonton boy, so I would hope like hell Kruger dresses him.

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